Fry Lodge Winter of Discontent 

When we moved back to the Pacific Northwest from New York City, among the things we were looking forward to were Western Washington’s mild winters. So far this winter we’ve had five significant snowfalls, four school closures, three slips on the ice, two snowed in cars and one frozen Lake Padden (first time in 20 years). 

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The Henry Book Club 

I woke up in a cold sweat, grabbing my phone to check the time. 1:30 AM.  The book was due back at the library in the morning. I still had 150 pages to go. I quietly crept downstairs so I could turn on a light to read by without waking up Kristine. I managed to barely finish before falling back to sleep. 

Henry returned the book to his school library in the morning, with instructions to check out another one of Carl Hiaasen’s works of middle grade fiction

Over the holidays I became hooked on the books Henry was reading. I’m now on my fourth Carl Hiaasen children’s book. Henry and I have formed a two-person book club of sorts. He reads them first and then recommends my next book, which I always have to read before he’s required to return it to the library. It’s a good system. I do better when I have a deadline, and I’m really enjoying books like Chomp, Hoot, Scat and Flush. Plus, it’s been fun to discuss with Henry the themes of these books, which typically involve saving animals threatened by the unchecked advances of development in South Florida.  

Kristine recently reminded me that I, too, have a library card. But the Henry book club is way more fun. 

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End-of-Year Fry Lodge Poll

I know confidence in polls has plummeted, but I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind on this last day of 2016 and take one of my own. I asked every member of Fry Lodge what their favorite memory is from 2016. Here are the results:

10th Anniversary Trip to Hawaii: 75%

Summer of ProjectWA: 25%

Given our small sample size, I’d say our margin of error is plus or minus 75%. Others at Fry Lodge might say 25%. I’ll leave it up to Nate Silver.

Happy New Year to the Fry Lodge Faithful.

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Sad 

“All Bellingham schools are closed for Tuesday, Dec. 13 due to the weather. While roads in some areas are clear, other parts of the district remain too icy, even with buses on snow routes.”

Those are the first two sentences of the first email I read when I woke up this morning. For the second day in a row, school is canceled due to weather, which means Henry and Ruby will be home. For. The. Entire. Day.

I refuse to accept this reality, and I question the credibility and legitimacy of a school district that cancels school due to weather, when I personally have found no evidence of hazardous conditions. Granted, I haven’t left my house in two days, but still. What makes the Bellingham School District more qualified than me to determine what is and isn’t safe for my children? The fact that they’ve been trained to do this and I haven’t? The fact that they are consistently rated one of the best school districts in Washington State? The fact that they are responsible for the safety of more than ten thousand students? C’mon.

The school district’s claim that road conditions are unsafe for school does not align with my personal agenda today, and I find their conclusion ridiculous and untrue. This is the same school district that, when the weather was still beautiful in August, decided it was time to start the school year. Sad.

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Ruby’s Super Shiny Golden Birthday 

A person’s golden birthday is when they turn the age of their birthday. For instance, if I were born on April 29th, next year would be my golden birthday. But that’s not the case. 

Today, December 8th, Ruby turned 8. Even better, she was born in 2008 at 8pm.  Given the confluence of these facts, Ruby declared today her Super Shiny Golden birthday.

Happy Birthday, Ruby Louise Fry, our one-of-a-kind, super shiny golden girl.

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Bring on the holidays

We’d been trudging around the muddy field for more than an hour. Ruby was now suggesting that we scrap our long-held tradition of cutting down our own tree, opting instead for one of the pretty, pre-cut trees leaning against the shed. Nobody could agree on a tree. The temperature – and blood sugar levels – were dropping. The sun would be down soon. And then, we found it – a full, tall noble fir. I quickly started cutting with the Fryman saw before anybody could change their mind. We lugged the tree to the car, enjoyed some cider, bought the 2016 Christmas ornament, and were soon on our way back to Fry Lodge Bellingham to decorate. 

Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, Willie Nelson, and the Charlie Brown Christmas album were just a few of the records we played as we spent the rest of the evening stringing lights, hanging ornaments and reminiscing about Christmases gone by. We must have 200 ornaments at this point – each with its own memory. It’s funny to review the different eras of ornaments from parents: the Southwest phase, the Ireland phase, the Mexico phase, the newlywed ornament, the new baby ornament. Can’t wait to see what comes this year. I’m sure we’ll love it, Grandma. 

We’re excited to continue our old traditions in this new home. Bring on the holidays. 

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Modern Family 

As my dad finished saying the blessing at Thanksgiving dinner, he paused just long enough after “This might be our last Thanksgiving…” to create an awkward moment for those of us around the table. Was Carl about to get morbid? Was he making some kind of incredibly sad announcement? There was a collective sigh of relief as he continued, “… in this house.” He was simply referring to the fact that my parents’ house on Lake Coeur d’Alene is for sale. 

Carl Fry, Turkey 

Four generations of Frys gathered at Fry Lodge Lake Coeur d’Alene today to celebrate Thanksgiving. The best part for me was watching Henry and Ruby play with their first cousins’ children, who are their same age. It’s funny to think that my siblings have been grandparents for as long as Kristine and I have been parents. I’m sure it’s funny to them, too. 

Colten, with first cousins once removed, Henry and Ruby 

It was an enjoyable day, full of all the things that make Thanksgiving my favorite holiday: naps, games, movies, the constant smell of turkey, reminiscing about childhood. A few Hi-balls. Thank you, Carl and Kaye, for hosting an amazing gathering. You worked very hard on this (and I’m not just referring to the meal.) I really hope this is not your last Thanksgiving … in this house.

Four generations of Frys 

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